The Bad Day

Recently, we had a bad day.

Like, a “no good, terrible, very bad day.”

I’m not even a rockstar mom or anything who is used to having good days. But for whatever reason, my three kids and I just failed at our day.

Blowout Diaper

It started with the 9-month-old baby having a blowout poop diaper. I should have known this would be foreshadowing for the rest of the day. There really aren’t enough descriptive words in the English language to explain how disgusting and widespread this poop was. It was all over him. It was all over me. It was all over the tub. It was all over the floor. It was all over the sink. It was EVERYWHERE. Commence the cleaning and disinfecting and the crying (from all parties involved).

Swimming & Screaming

Our usual time for swimming lessons got adjusted, so we were a little off our schedule. My middle child had a fit that he wasn’t allowed in the swimming pool yet and, in what I assume he considered an appropriate form of protest, stripped naked on the instructor’s patio. Our swim time ran into lunchtime, and we all enjoyed a torturous car ride home with my kids all overtired, hungry, wet, cranky, and extremely vocal about all of their misery. I snapped and screamed at one of my kids once we got home (and I am not a shouter) and had to apologize for losing my temper. That same kid is having a severe eczema flare up and cried so hard while I was applying his moisturizer after swimming, that I broke down and sobbed with him.

Shots (Not the Fun Kind)

Despite their hunger, nobody ate much lunch, and then it came time for my oldest son’s doctor’s appointment to receive a shot. To explain how he feels about shots, I want you to think of the thing you’re most scared of in this world, and then multiply that feeling by a hundred. I left the baby napping at home with my husband and dragged the other two kids to the doctor. Despite all our talks about how we would be calm and brave and how soon it would all be over, my son escaped from the room and bolted down the hall, where I had to chase him and forcibly drag and carry him back in. His screams were eardrum-bursting. I thought he was going to throw up from screaming so hard. It was an excellent and very public display of what to do and how to fight if you’re being kidnapped.


I had promised a snoball after the shots, but dinner went so poorly (with literal crying over spilled milk) that I tried negotiating and offered several other options for a treat. No dice. Everything in me was screaming that going for snoballs would be a bad idea… but we had promised, so we gritted our teeth and went anyway.

If this were an inspirational story, this is where I’d tell you that because we powered through, snoballs saved the day. We kept our promise, we took a breath and started the day over even so late in the evening, did a reset, and enjoyed lots of laughs and made family memories over ice and syrup that washed the bad day away.

But this is real life, and our outing was a disaster. The line was crazy long and I elected to wait in the car with the kids while my husband stood in line. They all screamed the WHOLE TIME and we wound up driving home with half-melted snoballs and rotten moods. They all cried through bathtime and by the time we finally jumped through the hurdles of bedtime, I felt like we’d gone through a whole week in the course of one day.

Try Again Tomorrow

Ultimately, this bad day was just another one in the rotation of goods, bads, and averages. It pales in comparison to some of our other bad days, and it makes some of our average days look just outstanding.

The real moral of the story is not that pushing through the bad to something good can save a day, but that blessedly, we always reach bedtime and we always get to try again tomorrow. It’s what I told my five-year-old as I tucked him in: “Today was a hard day. We will try again tomorrow. I love you.”

And if this were an inspirational story, this is where I’d tell you that we all woke up refreshed and committed to having a better day … but we had another pretty bad day. Oh well. Luckily, we always, always get to try again … tomorrow.

Erica Tran
Erica lives in Kenner with her husband Michael and her three sons, Benjamin, Joshua, and Elijah. After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost toys and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial about just how messy her house is.


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